The advertising of cosmetic surgery is a sensitive topic with concerns being raised about the trivialisation of a serious medical procedure and undue pressure on potentially vulnerable consumers. But the rules do not prohibit providers of these services from advertising as long as they stick to strict rules designed to protect consumers and to ensure all ads for cosmetic surgery and procedures are socially responsible.
Cosmetic surgery is not a decision that should be taken lightly and we take a firm line on ads that trivialise a cosmetic procedure or put pressure on individuals to make quick-buying decisions. Ads should not imply procedures are quick and easy with minimal invasiveness and recovery time if they aren’t, and we advise advertisers to always highlight the need for a consultation before booking a procedure and any risks associated with cosmetic surgery.
The advertising rules also state that ads for cosmetic surgery and procedures need to be scheduled and targeted appropriately in order to minimise the risk of children seeing an ad which has the potential to have a negative impact on their body image.
As well as making cosmetic surgery ads responsible, advertisers providing these procedures should also not mislead the public. Surgeons should only describe themselves as ‘qualified’ in their ads if they are on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council and have the relevant certifications or qualifications. Furthermore, surgeons should only describe themselves as ‘experienced’ if they are able to prove they have practiced their surgical specialty for at least 6 years.